more beautiful, fragrant, and strong, as well as fruitful. He must be heedful not to rob religion of its loveliness. Repulsive Christianity is very injurious. Roughness, bluntness, coarseness, ill tempers, meanness, hasty words, even if there be real piety, do much, very much harm. Let us watch against these things, and ponder well Paul's words (Phil. iv. 8): “ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Before closing, we will once more recur to the text with which we started. “A field which the Lord hath blessed.Yes, it is from his blessing that all natural loveliness and fragrance comes. He paints each flower, and fills its little censer brimfull of fragrance. His hand tunes all the harmonies of nature-from the roar of the ocean to the song of the harebell, from the majestic thunder-peal to the rustling music of the grass and leaves. And it is from his blessing that all spiritual beauty, fragrance,

and fruitfulness come. The Church and
each saint's heart is " a field which the
Lord hath blessed.” Oh! how full of
true poetry and tender love are the follow-
ing words :-" I will be as the dew unto
Israel; he shall grow as the lily, and cast
forth his roots as Lebanon. His branche:
shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the
olive-tree, and his smell as Lebanon. The
that dwell under his shadow shall return
they shall revive as the corn, and grow &
the vine; the scent thereof shall be as the
wine of Lebanon” (Hos. xiv. 4—7). But
what a solemn contrast the following words
présent :-" That which beareth thorns
and briars is rejected, and is nigh unto
cursing, whose end is to be burned.” Let
none despair who desire God's blessing,
even though they deeply feel that they
deserve his curse, for “then shall we know
if we follow on to know the Lord.” " Hi
going forth is prepared as the morning, and
he will come nigh us a's the rain, as the lat
ter rain and the former rain on the earth."
" Happy are the people that are in such
a case ; yea, blessed is that people who
have the Lord for their God."



MY DEAR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS - When I spent a few hours yesterday in your town, I had a confirmation and illustration of the truth declared by the apostle Paul-" Charity never faileth.” I found it true in my own experience, and saw it verified in the experience of those whom I met in the course of my short sojourn amongst you. So that I was led to say to myself, “ This fruit of the Spirit, this plant of grace, is just as fresh and strong as it was twenty years ago; like a beautiful and vigorous evergreen, whose life and verdure seem to increase with its age, or, as Dr. Watts expresses it.

««'« The plants of grace shall ever live,

Nature decays, but grace must thrive;
Time, that doth all things else impair,

Still makes them flourish strong and fair.'" I am, however, not intending to fill my paper on this subject, for, as touching brotherly love, I hope I have no need to write unto you, forasmuch as you are all taught of God to love one another ; but my object is to say a few words to "you, if you will permit me to do so, on your present very important and trying position. I can assure you, I feel much on your account, and even more for your deacons, on whom is now devolved an increased measure of that respons bility which attaches to their office. My earnest prayer for you all is, that bro

would supply you with the wisdom which is necessary and profitable to direct at such a time and in such circumstances, so that when you are called upon to decide in the choice of a pastor, your election may be in full accordance with the choice and appointment of God. In the first place, my dear friends, do not forget that a pastor and teacher is one of the great spiritual gifts which Christ bestows upon his Church; for when he ascended on higb, leading captivity captive, he received gifts for men ; and he gave some pastors and teachers, as well as apostles and prophets, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. You had better have no pastor at all, if you do not obtain one who is the special gift of the Church's exaited Head to you, and for you in particular. I believe God not only chooses and ordains some of his servants to be ministers and under-shepherds of his flock, but that he chooses the flock for them, and the part of his vineyard where he intends them to labour. Not only does he call them to the special work they have to do, and to do for him,---both in building up his Church on their most holy faith, and gathering sinners into the fold of the great Shepherd,—God purposes to go on with your edification, who are already members of the Church, and he equally purposes the salvation of others, who are yet to be brought in amongst you, and he well knows the agency and instrumentality by which it will be accomplished. But he has not made it known to you, nor are you to expect it by any special revelation from himself; yet he has given you general directions in his word to guide your course of action, to inform your judgment, and to lead you to a right and happy decision. You cannot, for instance, read the 14th and 15th chapters of the Romans, on the exercise of Christian forbearance -nor can you peruse 1 Cor. i., where the apostle shows how detrimental to personal piety, and the welfare of the Church, anything like dissension or party spirit is-nor can you read his beautiful prayer for the Philippians in chap. i., and his affectionate exhortations contained in chap. ii. to union of heart, oneness of mind, humility and thoughtful consideration of others—without perceiving in some measure what the will of God in Christ Jesus is concerning you; showing how and in what spirit you should now act in union and concert one with another ; standing fast in one spirit and one mind, that mind being the mind of Christ. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves ; that is, think not only of your own spiritual good, but of the spiritual good of others, and fall cheerfully in with whatever may appear for the peace and prosperity of the whole church, though it may not be altogether in accordance with some of your own views and feelings. I knew a good man, now in glory, a deacon of one of our churches, who, when the people were in the same position you are in at this moment, acted on these principles, and it was to him a source of great comfort and joy to the end of his days. The majority of the members were united in their choice of a pastor, who was not the man he himself would have selected—there was another, who would have been more in accordance with his particular views and tastes ; but he kept his own counsel. He did not allow his lips to express all the feelings of his mind at such a time, nor did he strive to gain any of the members over to his own way of thinking. He committed the case to God in earnest prayer, and left the result in the hands of the church. But what I most admired in his spirit and conduct was, that for fourteen years he worked with that minister as cordially and as earnestly as if he had been the very person he would have liked to see the pastor, instead of the one invited. This was showing a real love for Zion, not in word only, but in deed; and he realized in a most delightful degree the fulfilment of the promise, “They shall prosper that love thee." He was permitted to see the peace of Jerusalem all his days, and that church is to this day one of the most united and prosperous churches in our denomination.

My dear friends, I must now close, and do so by urging you to be fervent in prayer. Seek the guidance and aid of the Spirit of wisdom, and of a sound mind. Neglect not the assembling of yourselves together ; wait patiently on the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Then, no doubt, you will soon have cause to rejoice in his loving-kindness in sending you an undershepherd, who shall live between the Chief Shepherd and the flock.

Yours, &c.,




I THANK thee, Lord, that through this day

Thy hand hath been my shield,
From all the dangers of my way,

Both open and concealed !

At home, abroad, at rest, in toil,

Thou near me still hast stood,
Cheering my heart by thy glad smile,

And crowning me with good.

Ten thousand precious gifts of love

My cup of blessing fill;
Help me my gratitude to prove,

By doing all thy will !

The numerous crimes, O God, forgive,

Which stain my soul to-night;
Though guilty, let the sinner live,

Nor cast me from thy sight!

Grant, Lord, to thy beloved sleep,

Renew my wasted powers ;
Both me and mine in safety keep

Till morning's opening hours !

Thus day and night be thou my friend,

Until life's journey's o'er,
And all my earthly wanderings end

Where there is night no more!


Tales and Sketches.

“Sleep is the worst of thieves—

He steals half our lives.”
In most parts of Germany there passes
current among the people this proverb :-

“ He that would thrive,,, Must the white sparrow see.” The meaning of the proverb is not at first sight so apparent as that of some others that circulate among us, such as “Early babits make the man,” and “Honesty is the best policy,” &c.; but the moral signification it is intended to convey is not the less true and important. I will, therefore, here relate the story connected with its origin, even as I received it myself from the lips of an old and valued friend.

There was an old farmer with whom everything appeared to grow worse from year to year. His cattle died one by one, and the produce of his land was not the half that it ought to be; in fact, all his property was, to use a very familiar expression, “ going to the dogs!” In short, scarcely a week passed by that either the tax-gatherer or the pawnbroker did not come to his window, and, addressing him with a courteous bow, say, “I am really very sorry, Herr Ruckwart, to be compelled to put you to inconvenience, but I am obliged to do my duty." The old friends of Herr Ruckwart also tried to do their duty to him. They advised, they entreated, and they helped him, but all in vain; and so one after another gave him up in despair, declaring with a sigb, that as for poor Ruckwart, there was no use in trying to help him-he was past being helped.

He had one friend, however, whose heart was in the right place, and who was not only a good man, but a very clear-sighted one. This friend thought he would not give Herr Ruckwart up altogether without making one more attempt to save him. So one day he led the conversation, as though accidentally, to the subject of spar. rows, relating many anecdotes of these birds, and observing how greatly they had multiplied of late, and how very cunning and voracious they had become.

Herr Ruckwart shook his head gravely in answer to this observation, and said:

“ They are, indeed, most destructive creatures. For my part, I have not the slightest doubt that it is mainly owing to their depredations that my harvest has of late years been so unproductive."

To this conjecture his old friend made no rejoinder; but after a moment's pause he continued the conversation by another interrogation :

“ Neighbour, have you ever seen a white sparrow?"

"No," replied Ruckwart, “ the sparrows which alight on my fields are all the common grey sort."

“ That is very probable, too,” rejoined his friend. “ The habits of the white sparrow are peculiar to itself. Only one comes into the world every year; and being so different from its fellows, the other sparrows take a dislike to it, and peck at it

when it appears among them. For this | reason, it seeks its food early in the morn

ing, before the rest of the feathered tribe are astir, and then goes back to its nest, where it remains for the rest of the day.”

"That is very strange!” exclaimed Ruckwart. “I must really try and get a sight of that sparrow; and, if possible, I will catch it, too."

On the morning following this conversation the farmer rose with the sun, and sallied forth into the field. He walked around his farm, searched his farm-yard in every corner, examined the roofs of his garners and the trees of his orchards, to see whether he could discover any traces of the wonderful white sparrow. But the white

sparrow, to the great disappointment of | the farmer, would not show itself or stir

from its imaginary rest. What vexed the farmer, however, still more, was that, although the sun stood high in the heavens by the time he had completed his round, not one of the farm labourers was astirthey, too, seemed resolved not to leave their nests. Meanwhile the cattle were bellowing in their stalls with hunger, and not a soul was near to feed them.

Herr Ruckwart was reflecting on the disadvantages of this state of things, when suddenly he perceived a lad coming out of the house, carrying a sack of wheat on his

shoulders. He seemed to be in great haste | to get out of the precincts of the farm, and

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Herr Ruckwart soon perceived that his “OUR PASTOR OUGHT TO LEAVE.” steps were not bent towards the mill, but towards a public house where Caspar had WHILE visiting a neighbouring congre. unhappily a long score to pay. He has gation not long since, I heard a member of tened after the astonished youth, who be the church utter these words, “Our pastor lieved his master to be still in the enjoy. ought to leave." ment of his morning nap, and quickly The question at once arose in my mind, relieved him of his burden.“

“Why? what evil hath be done ?" The farmer next bent his steps to the “O nothing," was the reply. “He is, & cow-house, and peeping to see whether the good man. Every one has the most perfect white sparrow had perchance taken refuge confidence in his piety, his zeal for God, there, he discovered, to his dismay, that and his love for the souls of his fellowthe milk.maid was handing a liberal portion men; but then we think he ought to of milk through the window to her neigh leave." bour, to mix with her morning cup of

“But why? Does he not preach the coffee.

truth ?” “A pretty sort of housekeeping this is!" “Yes! He is very correct in his theothought the farmer to himself, as he has logy; preaches sound, practical gospel sertened to his wife's apartment and aroused mons; but then they are so dry, and that her from her slumbers. “As sure as my is his fault.” name is Ruckwart,” he exclaimed, in an "Are you certain of this ? All gospel angry tone, " there must be an end to these truths are dry to dry hearts, and is not this lazy habits. Everything is going wrong the character of most of his hearers ? Hare for the want of somebody to look after not their souls been parched by worldlithings. So far as I am concerned,” thought ness till they give scarcely any signs of life? the good farmer to himself, “I will rise every | And is not this their fault? And when day at the same hour as I rose this morn the Sabbath comes, do they not go to ing, and then I shall get my farm cleared church, if they go at all, with their souls of those who do not intend to do their duty covered with the dust of earth? No properly. Besides, who knows but that wonder they think his preaching dry." some fine morning or other I may succeed

« But he is not building up the church." in catching the white sparrow ?"

«. He is not! Neither did Noah, that Days and weeks passed on. The farmer old preacher of righteousness. For more adhered to his resolution, but he soon for than a hundred years did he labour in the got the white sparrow, and only looked same place without adding a single member ; after the cattle and his corn.fields. Soon and the reason was, he had bad material to everything around him wore a flourishing work upon. He was a very dry preacher aspect, and men began to observe that Herr until the storm came. Ruckwart (Backward) now well deserved “So, also, our Saviour gathered in but: to be called Herr Vowart (Forward). In few during his ministry. To the mass of due course of time, this old friend again those who heard his words, he was a dry came to spend the day with him, and in preacher--a root out of dry ground. But quired, in a humorous tone, “ Well, my where was the fault? Was it with him? fine fellow, how are you getting on now ? or was it not rather with the dry hearts to Have you succeeded in catching a glimpse whom he preached ? Had you lived in of the white sparrow ?”

those days, and been among the number of The farmer only replied to this question those who occasionally heard him, and wita by a smile, and then, holding out his hand nessed the small results of his labours to his old friend, he said, “ God bless you, fear you would have uttered the same senza Herder! you have saved me and my family timent, 'He ought to leave.'from ruin."

“But he is not interesting to young Often, in after years, when Herr Ruck

people." wart was a prosperous man, respected by “Young England, I suppose, you mean. his neighbours, and beloved by his well This is indeed sad; but I can tell you ordered household, he was wont to relate | what is interesting to them. That dance at the history of his early life; and thus, by your house the other night interested them. degrees, the saying passed into a proverb The light and sneering remarks which you “He that would thrive

sometimes make about your pastor interest l; them. The indifference you manifest to

Must the white sparrow see,

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